'DWTS': Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke On Staying in the Game After Pro Tests Positive for COVID-19 (Exclusive)

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Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby
Maarten de Boer/ABC via Getty Images

For Cody Rigsby, the show must go on! After his pro partner Cheryl Burke tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, the celebrity Peloton instructor was also absent from the Dancing With the Stars studio on Monday.

That being said, the pair aren't out of the competition! While Rigsby wasn't allowed to perform live, out of an abundance of caution, the show instead played recorded footage from a rehearsal performance of their salsa taped last week, that the judges were able to critique.

ET's Lauren Zima spoke with the pair via video chat after the episode, and Burke recalled getting tested and what it was like when she found out she had contracted the virus.

"I had no idea I had COVID at all actually. I did start to feel like maybe I was coming down with like a flu or maybe I was just totally worn out from traveling or whatever, or lack of sleep, but never did I ever think it was going to be COVID," Burke shared.

"Obviously, when I got tested and it was positive, I was shocked," she added. "And sad, because I just knew it wasn't gonna be possible for me to dance, for sure."

Luckily, the pair were recording their rehearsals last week, which allowed the footage to be judged during Monday's episode -- a rare occurrence, but not the first time it's happened during the show's 30-season run.

"I have to see it back," Burke said, when asked about the decision to record rehearsal. "Because we don't have the third person there to give notes [like usual]."

Burke and Rigsby joined Monday's DWTS virtually for the judges' feedback, and shared an update on how they're feeling at the moment. Burke said she's "feeling OK" and that she's "just grateful that she got vaccinated" and she hopes to be back in the ballroom soon.

"I'm feeling good," Rigsby shared with the judges. "The world throws you things and you just have to ride the wave, and that's what we did."

The pair ended up earning four 6s across the board for a still-respectable 24 out of 40.

Rigsby reiterated those sentiments while speaking with ET, explaining, "The more you try to resist it or control [the things that happen to you], it's going to lash back at you. So instead of trying to control the situation, I just jumped in. We did the best we could do and we just went with it."

For Rigsby, his biggest concern wasn't getting to perform, it was whether or not Burke was going to be OK.

"I had COVID back in late January/early February, and this was back, obviously, before the vaccine, so I know how hard it hits. And I got a really bad case," Rigsby explained. "I was just worried about Cheryl, because even though she's young and healthy, no one knows how this virus and affect anyone. So I just wanted to make sure she was OK."

As for next week's performance, Burke said she's not sure how they would handle the dance, or if Cody would pair up with a sub, but Burke explained, "I'm going to be a dance mom now, which means I'm going to be zooming and stalking him as he's rehearsing... and checking in constantly."

After their dance, Burke took to Twitter to encourage fans to vote for them, and to share her appreciation for getting the chance to stay in the game with their rehearsal footage.

"Thank god for technology and camera phones!" Burke wrote. "If you haven’t voted yet, text CODY to 21523 NOW before voting closes so we can come back. Thank you for all the well wishes, love and support #boocrew! #DWTS @CodyRigsby."

Rigsby took to his Instagram Story, just hours ahead of Monday night's episode, to address his fate on the dance competition series and send love to his partner as she recovers from the virus.

"First and foremost, I want to send all of my love, and thoughts and healing energy to Miss Cheryl Burke," he said. "We have spoken a few times. She seems to be in good spirits and feeling well. But I have been through COVID and I know how crazy this virus can be and it can change at any moment, so just keep her in your thoughts."

On Sunday, Burke revealed that she tested positive for COVID-19 in a video to Instagram -- which she shot in the morning on her way to getting tested and then after the rapid results came back in the afternoon -- detailing her frightening experience.

"Unfortunately, I am on my way to take a COVID test, because not only do I feel scared and at a loss for words, I feel run down a little bit," Burke shared in the first part of the video, recorded while driving in her car.

The video continued in the afternoon, still in Burke's car, and she revealed, "I have really bad news. I am positive, which means I have COVID."

Burke began to tear up as she explained how she's been "feeling progressively worse" throughout the day, while waiting for the results.

"I feel so bad. I feel so bad for Cody, I feel like I'm letting him down. I just feel like s**t and it's so overwhelming," Burke said while fighting back tears. "It's Sunday and the show's tomorrow.... I just hope I didn't spread it."

Last week, Burke got candid with fans about her ongoing sobriety journey, and opened up about the excitement she felt about returning to the ballroom.

After Monday's show, the long-time DWTS pro opened up to ET's Lauren Zima backstage about getting real with her fans, sharing, "It's scary. Especially being sober."

Check out the video below to hear more about this season of Dancing With the Stars, which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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